trust your gut
‘Trust Your Gut’ is our annual awareness campaign that raises awareness of bowel cancer symptoms, what they are and when to act. We are encouraging you to trust your ‘gut feeling’ when something doesn’t feel right by acting on your symptoms and talking to your GP.
Many of us will experience uncomfortable gut symptoms at one time or another, such as bloating, cramping, gas or unexplained tiredness or weight loss but most of us won’t do anything about it.
You might explain it away as being diet related or stress. Some will even Google ‘irritable bowel syndrome’ or put it down to ‘not being as young or as fit as we used to be’.
Even fewer of is will ask our doctor about our symptoms.
However, it’s that ‘gut feeling’ telling you somethings just not right which is worth trusting.
Statistically it’s unlikely you will have bowel cancer, especially if you are under 50 years of age. However, the critical thing with bowel cancer is to catch it early.
Acting quickly when you first notice symptoms is the key because detected early, 99% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated or even prevented.
In fact, bowel cancer can be present for many years before showing any symptoms.
In some cases, people may not experience any bowel cancer symptoms until the cancer has become more advanced or spreads to other parts of the body. It’s important to know what’s normal for your body and when to talk to you GP.
Unusual gut symptoms can include:
- Bleeding from your bottom or blood in your bowel movements, even if only occasional, should never be ignored
- A change in bowel habits for longer than two weeks
– going to the toilet more frequently
– loose or watery bowel movements
– feeling that the bowel does not completely empty
– bowel movements that are thinner than usual
- Frequent gas, bloating, fullness or cramps
- Unexplained feelings of tiredness, breathlessness or a lack of energy
- Unexplained weight loss or vomiting
- Chronic or new abdominal pain that exists for more than a few days
- A lump in your abdomen or rectum
Still unsure of your symptoms?
Download our interactive Symptom Checker here.
In partnership with Curtin University, we have developed an interactive questionnaire called a Symptom Checker to help you identify the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer.
Simply fill in your answers and present it to your pharmacy or GP where they can help you investigate your symptoms further.
If the Symptom Checker recommends you follow up with your doctor, take the completed form with you. We urge you to make that appointment – it might just save your life.